Long-term application of compost influences microbial biomass and enzyme activities in a tropical Aeric Endoaquept planted to rice under flooded condition

Dali Rani Nayak, Y. Jagadeesh Babu, T. K. Adhya

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In a field study, long-term application of compost to a tropical Acric Endoaquept under continuous rice growing in a rice-rice-fallow sequence resulted in the stimulation of microbial biomass and select soil enzyme activities. Mean seasonal soil microbial biomass-C (C-mic increased by 42%, 39% and 89% in inorganic fertilizer, compost and compost + inorganic fertilizer treatments, respectively, over the unamended control. C-mic content was also influenced by the rice crop growth stage and was highest Lit maximum tillering stage irrespective of treatments and declined thereafter. Soil organic C (C-org) content showed highly significant positive correlation with dehydrogenase, urease, cellulase, beta-glucosidase and fluorescein di-acetate (FDA) hydrolysis activity, and a positive but not significant correlation with invertase and amidase activity. C/N ratio which was lowest in unamended control plots showed a significant positive relationship with only the enzymes involved in C cycle. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that for prediction of both total organic C and total N, FDA hydrolysis activity contributed significantly for the variance and explained up to 85-96% variability. Results demonstrated that microbial biomass and soil enzyme activity is sensitive in discriminating between long-term organic residue amendment practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1897-1906
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number8
Early online date22 Mar 2007
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • microbial biomass
  • rice paddy
  • organic amendment
  • soil enzyme activity
  • FDA hydrolase
  • solid-waste compost
  • soil organic-matter
  • residue management
  • extraction method
  • carbon
  • nitrogen
  • fertilization
  • dehydrogenase
  • amendments
  • dynamics

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